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School bus cameras catch dangerous drivers

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By Brandon Scott – jwplayer.key="Xb4pq7jNsbZ4Vfx+msWU558xEnsZPO4TpfmMIQ==";

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BELLEVUE, Neb. (WOWT) -- Terrifying video from Austin, Texas shows the danger when drivers ignore the stop sign on a schoolbus: a pickup truck slammed into a 7th grade boy. Amazingly, the boy is okay and Austin Police know who hit him - thanks to an exterior school bus camera.

Here in the Metro, the Bellevue Public School District has 11 buses with exterior cameras like those in Austin. Just a few days ago, the cameras caught a Bellevue driver blowing through the stop sign of the bus driven by Bobbie Haith. When she noticed the driver wasn't slowing down, she signaled the student to wait. Haith told WOWT 6 News: "If I would have let that kid cross he would have hit him! I've seen a lot of people who just don't even care. They look you right in the eyes and go forward right through the stop sign."

Bellevue installed their bus cameras a year ago, capturing 63 violators last school year. 40 have already been caught this school year. Richard Casey, Bellevue's Transportation Director, told WOWT 6 News: "We've not had any kids hurt. Of course, across the nation, kids are hurt almost daily. We've been very fortunate."

Casey reviews the violator video and sends it to Bellevue Police and the Sarpy County Sheriff's Office. Anyone caught on camera could get a $500 fine. However, for now, first-time offenders get a warning.

Bobbie Haith wants a stiffer initial penalty. She said: "It should be an automatic fine because if everybody starts getting fined for this, maybe they'll stop."